But the authors and an accompanying comment caution that there remains controversy as to whether folic acid supplementation can lead to improved outcomes for other cardiovascular conditions.
Professor Xiaobin Wang, Children’s Memorial Hospital and Children’s Memorial Research Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, USA, and colleagues did a meta-analysis (a study combining previous trials) of eight trials of folic acid that had stroke reported as one of the endpoints.
Folic acid supplementation lowers the concentrations homocysteine in the blood. High amounts of homocysteine in the blood are thought to increase the risk of stroke, as well as that of cardiovascular disease and deep vein thrombosis.
They found folic acid supplementation reduced the relative risk of stroke by an average of 18 per cent. In subgroup analyses, an even greater reduction of risk was seen when the treatment lasted over 36 months (29% less risk); if it reduced the concentration of homocysteine in the blood by more than 20% (23% less risk); or if the patient had no previous history of stroke (25% less risk).
The study also found that in areas that did not already have supplementation through fortified or partly fortified grain, folic acid supplementation decreased the risk of stroke by 25%.
The authors conclude: "Our meta-analysis provides coherent evidence that folic acid supplementation can significantly reduce the risk of stroke in primary prevention."
But they caution: "To efficiently assess the efficacy and causality of folic acid supplementation on stroke, future clinical trials should be done in regions without grain fortification, with a longer period of follow-up (4 years or longer), and among individuals without a history of stroke.
"The issue of folic acid supplementation alone versus folic acid in combination with other B vitamins, as well as optimum dosage, should also be carefully considered in future trials."
In the accompanying comment, Dr Cynthia Carlsson, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Wisconsin, USA, says: "Although this meta-analysis helps clarify answers to some questions about the role of homocysteine lowering in CVD prevention, ongoing randomised trials are needed before we can conclude that the benefit of continued use of previously deemed 'safe' vitamin supplements outweighs the risk of other adverse CVD outcomes.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences